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Almost everybody has journeyed into the backcountry at least once with an inexperienced friend who just can’t get warm—even if they’re piled in layers like the Michelin Man. Those people might want to consider telling their friends to get the Ardica personal heating system, which is basically a battery pack and heating pads integrated into the inside of your jacket.
The Ardica jacket claims to keep your core warm for nine hours on low heat or three hours on high, and can get as hot as 100 degrees. An Ardica pack adds $30-50 to the cost of whatever piece of outerwear it comes attached to. So far, Mountain Hardwear already has plans to release an Ardica-enabled jacket next year.
Each battery takes about 3 hours to charge, but there’s an added bonus: The jacket will have power outs so you can charge phones, iPods, GPS devices, and other electronic doodads while in the field.
Of course, there are two drawbacks: 1) it adds about a half-pound to your jacket weight, and 2) it’s kind of lame. Solution: Make your inexperienced homie buy and wear it. He or she will get to stay warm and hold all your electronics for charging. That’s gotta be at least another 2 pounds off your pack weight.
If, however, you’d like to stay warm this winter without feeling like Robocop, you can check out our exclusive cold-weather clothing picks right here.